Ikea Hack Easel

I love Ikea. Usually I get overwhelmed with so many choices, but Ikea is laid out so well that it’s easy for me to say “yes” or “no” to specific items. Ikea “hacks” are super popular since it’s so easy to take their items and upgrade them. I have done this to multiple pieces in my house.

We posted in our Holiday Gift Guide for One Year Olds that one of our top picks was the Ikea MALA Easel. For $14.99 it is an AMAZING deal, especially when you compare it to the Land of Nod’s  Artist Portrait Easel at $149.00 or Melissa and Doug’s Standing Art Easel at $52.99. Neither one is customizable to fit your little one’s room, or your house. I honestly can’t say that the IKEA easel is much better; however, at $9.99, the customizing you can do with this piece to make it special is well worth it.

What you will need:

Ikea Hack_MALA Easel_Glidden_Chalkboard paint_The Mommy Promotion

  1. Paint color of your choice. I used “Gliddons” oil based paint to give the easel the lacquer look. My honest opinion is that this paint is a real pain, but the outcome is worth it.
  2. Chalkboard paint in your preference of color. I used green and black.
  3. Small Nylon paint brush- if using oil based paint. Small regular flat head paintbrush if using another paint.
  4. Medium size paint brush.
  5. Painters Tape
  6. Fine Grit Sandpaper
  7. Paint thinner (if using oil based paint”
  8. Exacto knife


  1. Using the fine grit sandpaper, lightly sand the wooden areas until the shine has come off. This helps adhere the paint to the wood without having to prime.
  2. Tape around the blackboard and the white board areas as close to the edge as possible. Also, tape off the red tray if you plan on painting it a different color or if you are keeping it red. Ikea Hack _ MALA Easel _ Chalkboard Paint _ The Mommy promotion
  3. Using long strokes, paint the wooden area. This took me multiple days using oil based paint due to drying time.  If you use an eggshell or satin based paint it should only take a few hours to dry before you place a 2nd coat.
  4. Using the small nylon brushes, paint the inside corners and sides closest to the white/blackboard. This brush also helps with painting the tray.
  5. Paint the back of the easel and the paper dowel. (I did use paint thinner on the paint when painting the back. Firstly, you can not see this area as well and since the oil-based paint takes so long to dry, this speeds things up exponentially)
  6. Once everything has dried remove the painters tape. I use an exacto knife along the edge to ensue that the paint does not pull off.
  7. Paint the chalkboard whichever color you would like. I painted mine in black again. If you really wanted to go all out you could use a magnetic paint first and then re-apply a chalk board color. Looking back I may do this.
  8. Paint the tray. I used a green chalkboard paint to match my kids room.
  9. Prime the chalkboard paint by taking a piece of chalk and turing it horizontal and cover the whole chalkboard. Then wipe off.

Ikea Hack _ MALA Easel _ Chalkboard Paint _ The Mommy Promotion


Ikea does sell the paper rolls and paint supplies. I do not live near an IKEA so I order most of my items off Amazon especially the paper rolls because I can not find them in stores. Let your little one’s creative minds play… on something that is not an eye sore:)

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